09-12: Support of the Bureau of Land Management’s Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan for the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument

WHEREAS, Conservation Districts represent their constituents’ natural resource concerns as well as private landowners’ issues.

WHEREAS, the Monument boundary includes 81,059 acres of private land; and

WHEREAS, the Monument Proclamation states “The area has remained largely unchanged in the nearly 200 years since Meriwether Lewis and William Clark traveled through it on their epic journey” and Conservation Districts realize this is due to the good management practices of the private landowners and the BLM over the past decades; and  

WHEREAS, Conservation Districts were involved with the Resource Management Plan planning process, and believe the process included robust and meaningful public involvement through the Resource Advisory Council (RAC) and RAC sub-groups; and

WHEREAS, many landowners are working with the BLM and Conservation Districts to learn the science of riparian management, as evidenced by their participation in the BLM-sponsored National Riparian Science Team’s interviews and workshop held in 2008. Additionally, many ranches have become certified through the Undaunted Stewardship Program, giving them sustainable science-based range management plans and preserving important privately-owned historic sites, all of which complement the Monument designation and support BLM’s approved RMP.

WHEREAS, Conservation Districts and the private landowners have worked with the BLM on a variety of projects supported through the planning process that benefit the unique features of the Monument and the Missouri River, including off-stream watering projects and changes in grazing management such as the Two Calf Creek pipeline, fencing, and water tank project and the Ford Bottom exclosure.  

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Montana Association of Conservation Districts stand in support of the BLM’s Record of Decision and Approved Resource Management Plan for the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument and vocalize this support through a variety of means, including letters to Montana’s Congressional delegation, Governor, state legislators, and federal agencies as appropriate; press releases; lobbying efforts; and any other appropriate venue.